Marvel Studios announces Phase 3 films up to 2019

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Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 3 finally begins. After the launch of Avengers: Age Of Ultron teaser trailer last week (another one, containing new scenes, will be released again later today), Marvel Studios announce their full Phase 3 plan, including release dates for said films. Age Of Ultron is confirmed for next year and will close Phase 2, meanwhile Ant-Man has already been announced at San Diego Comic-Con this year, so these two movies don’t play a large part in the announcements.

Perhaps the most exciting part is the announcement of The Black Panther movie. Chadwick Boseman is playing T’Challa and he will have a cameo in the next Captain America movie, which was initially announced as ‘Serpent Society’ (later on, this was proven to be a red herring and Marvel officially announced that it would be a Civil War movie.) Boseman appeared on stage at the Marvel event where the announcement was made, together with Robert Downey Jr and Chris Evans.

Without further ado, here they are in all of their glory.

2016

Captain America: Civil War (6 May)
Doctor Strange (4 November)

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2017

Guardians Of The Galaxy 2 (5 May)

Thor: Ragnarok (28 July).

Black Panther (3 November)

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2018-2019

Avengers: Infinity War – Part I (4 May 2018)

Captain Marvel (6 July 2018)

Inhumans (2 November 2018)

Avengers: Infinity War – Part II (3 May 2019)

 

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Black Panther Concept Art

Marvel also released the following concept art for the Black Panther. (This is so exciting!)

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Captain America: The Winter Soldier Blu-ray promo clips

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Captain America: The Winter Soldier comes out on DVD and Blu-ray in September. Marvel has been teasing the extras through a series of clips. Here’s all of them so far in one place.

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Stormy with a chance of horror

The Knick on Cinemax

The Knick on Cinemax

If you’re in Jakarta and you’re looking for something to watch this weekend, and have no idea which movie to choose from, I might be able to help you with that.

First week back to work in the post-Eid holiday, I went to three media screenings. Tuesday was Into The Storm. Wednesday I had Cinemax’s The Knick. Thursday was all about TMNT. (I also finally went ahead and saw Step Up: All In.) Today, Friday, my friends and I went to see Babadook.

Of all these, the first one I would recommend to you would actually be The Knick (see above picture). It’s a TV series, actually, but it was aired in a small cinema so we got to see it in a large screen (which is divine). It’s airing in Indonesia this Saturday, at 9 PM, on Cinemax within 24 hours after its US debut. Despite coming with warnings for triggering issues such as racism and the maximum level of gore, the pilot has great music, is rich in period details and features a wonderful performance by the cast led by Clive Owen and directed by Steven Soderbergh. It is perfect for the stay-at-home-can’t-be-bothered-to-join-the-masses-in-malls type. Television Renaissance, I tell you…

The second best thing I saw at a cinema this week that I would recommend to people would be Into The Storm.

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Everything I said in this reaction post is reason enough to pick this over the rest of this weekend’s releases. Some people are comparing it with Twister (and say that it doesn’t match that old classic – probably because there weren’t enough flying cows in this Steven Quale film) but, well. Twister is not playing in cinemas right now, is it? Disaster films can also be triggering and I imagine people who live in areas in the US that are at risk from such an occurrence might not feel that this is the film for them but the movie itself is relatable, evenly paced and easy to digest.

Here’s also where I confess to something: I almost interviewed Richard Armitage for my article but didn’t.

Into The Storm Article in TFI #57
I ended up getting a generic interview file and worked that out for my piece instead. But I’m still holding out hope that I would get to interview him in person one day. Call me a hopeless optimist but I’ve already interviewed Sarah Wayne Callies (Mr. Armitage’s co-star in Storm)  and Andrew Lincoln (his co-star in Strike Back and her co-star in The Walking Dead), so one day I will. ONE DAY.

On the meantime, I’ll just watch him in the screens.

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Into The Storm: A Reaction

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Consider these my notes for my upcoming review of Into The Storm.

+ This summer season, Warner Bros. has two summer movies that defied my expectations. First they released Edge Of Tomorrow, and now they are releasing Into The Storm. Both of these movies have the advantage of not being connected into any franchise currently running and they are both standalone stories that are not sequel or prequel to anything. They also share another common quality: being absolutely entertaining to me as a moviegoer.

+ I could nitpick and say that Into The Storm has minimal character development and it is riddled with disaster movie cliché (there has to be at least one authority figure who challenges the hero’s attempt to save all of their lives, right?) It also has pacing problems in which the non-tornado moments felt really rushed and end up being inconsequential. But I choose not to nitpick, for reasons I will elaborate below…

+ Because who can nitpick when you have such awesomely disastrous tornado scenes? Disastrous is not even the word. Catastrophic is more like it. For a movie that doesn’t really have a villain, director Steven Quale has successfully made a supervillain out of those tornadoes. Hell hath no fury like Mother Nature scorned. This movie is scary enough to make me paranoid and want to build a bunker and become a survivalist.

+ There’s a heightened sense of danger here, especially because the heroes are not depicted entirely as heroes. Gary and his sons weren’t anything special. Their relationship, especially in the way they annoy each other, was completely relatable. Pete and Allison’s teams ticked another box in the cliché list but I’ve had co-workers who behave and interact with me that way, so – again – this was believable. Whether they were trying to run away or run into the storm, I found them not particularly heroic in the way protagonists are, so they all seemed all the more vulnerable against the imminent disaster.

+ Coming back to Gary and his sons’ interaction, there was this odd moment in the movie where I felt like they were imitating my own life. Gary’s response to his sons in the beginning? Totally my own father’s response to me. That was weird. And also, that was how I knew they pulled it off in being a family.

+ Funnily enough, I didn’t think he could do it. Sue me but I didn’t think Richard Armitage could pull of being an everyman… but he did! I always thought he was built for tall, dark, broody and mysterious characters, but here he was, being so normal and all, almost without standing out. Even Sarah Wayne Callies stood more as the meteorologist than Gary the teacher. It was amazing.

+ Being a TV buff these days, Into The Storm was full of recognizable faces. In fact, it felt at times like the merging of my TV fandoms… Sarah Wayne Callies represented The Walking Dead, Matt Walsh Veep, Jeremy Sumpter Friday Night Lights… there was even that annoying drug addict of a Ballard student from Crisis (Brandon Ruiter; playing yet another jackass in this movie)!

+ The low profile cast helped the story in my opinion. The summer movie blockbusters are always a parade of A-list stars; sometimes there are so much star power in one single movie that you get distracted from the story by their celebrity status. Into The Storm may have been made up of relatively unknown actors in the cast, but they are exactly what the story needed to tell it on screen. It truly is amusing and uplifting how a small budget flick like Into The Storm can pack more finesse and quality in terms of acting compared to the likes of Transformers: Age Of Extinction.

+ Have I ever mentioned how much I hate found footage films? It was okay the first or second time around, but after so many movies used this format, I’ve decided that it is just not for me. I didn’t even like how it was used in Earth To Echo (another summer indie project that I quite admire), but I felt that the format worked for Into The Storm. My fears of the film being visually obnoxious were unfounded because somehow Brian Pearson – the DoP – made the found footage aspect of it work for the story. Plus, THE TORNADOES. Still awesome.

+ I’d mention some of my favorite tornado destruction scenes but that would count as spoilers and I don’t want that.

+ Brian Tyler scored the film. Just thought you ought to know that.

+ In my book, Into The Storm has become an instant disaster movie classic. I’m not into this genre, so maybe I’m not the best person to decide what’s a classic or not, but I can safely say I prefer this film to anything Roland Emmerich has made. The direction lacks the gloss and panache of a big budget studio production but it’s still solid and assured in presentation. It’s still popcorn flick for the summer season, but it also has enough heart and humanity in the story, aside of the awesome spectacles (GIANT TORNADO!), to avoid being a brainless entertainment.

To close this reaction post: this movie received an applause from the guests at my media screening (an official screening held by the studio for members of the press and other guests). That puts it on par with another summer movie WB has released this summer, Godzilla.

Into The Storm is released in Indonesia Wednesday, 6 August 2014.

The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies Teaser: A Reaction

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There was just the one clip from the last installment of The Hobbit trilogy that Peter Jackson & Co. showed the audience at the Warner Bros panel at San Diego Comic-Con ’14... and now we get to see it too! Warner Bros has released the teaser trailer of The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies for our viewing pleasure.

My first few thoughts are:

  • Chilling. Epic. But mostly just chilling.
  • The use of Pippin’s song in this trailer feels right. It’s a good way to use that song again and connect The Hobbit to The Lord Of The Rings. (And the fact that Pippin’s song came in the third film of LOTR trilogy makes its usage in this third movie of The Hobbit trilogy is even more appropriate.)
  • Realistically speaking, I suspect that the reason why Pippin’s song is used in the trailer is because they don’t have a scoring ready to be used yet. However, it still sounds good and feels right anyway.
  • Now I really want Pippin’s song to be used in the movie. It’ll be a great way to have Billy Boyd involved again.
  • I suspect this will be Luke Evans’ moment to shine. The trailer teases a lot of heroic moments for Bard the Bowman. I hope the end product delivers on that.
  • Galadriel and Gandalf are yet another reason why I get goosebumps. Again, Pippin’s song fits whatever is happening there perfectly, walking through shadows and all that.
  • Sauron’s eye at the end of the trailer made me shudder. For all that Smaug is evil, Sauron is still the bigger threat.
  • The Hobbit film writers absolutely love Richard Armitage. They keep giving him the best lines. After “if this to end in fire, then we will all burn together”, he now gets to play Thorin Oakenshield delivering the fierce line of “I will have war.
  • Bilbo’s monologue at the beginning of the teaser trailer is absolutely heartbreaking.

Are you not gross sobbing into your keyboards yet?

“one day i’ll remember, remember everything that happened: the good, the bad, those who survived, and those that did not.”

I can’t actually watch too much of this trailer because I don’t want to cry even more than I already did.

I’ve been very worried about the BOTFA film; PJ has been slow in keeping us updated. It is now end of July and we still haven’t seen much – not even by way of still images – of the film. The only thing significant that happened was the title change from There And Back Again to The Battle Of The Five Armies. Right now, I have very low expectation of the movie (also taking into account how The Desolation Of Smaug took a huge leap away from the book), mostly because of this sense of ‘unpreparedness’. I hope everything will go well and we can see something else soon. It really is time for a production blog, Mr. Jackson!

On the meantime, let’s just enjoy the teaser poster where Bilbo is kneeling holding Sting. Can we say epic again? EPIC.

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Entertainment Weekly SDCC ’14 Star Portraits

Photos from Entertainment Weekly SDCC Star Portraits Gallery. Photography by Michael Muller for EW.

DAY 1

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First row: Benedict Cumberbatch; Sarah Wayne Callies; Josh Hartnett
Second row: J. August Richards; Jim Parsons; Adam West
Third row: the cast of Penguins Of Madagascar; Robert Kirkman (creator of The Walking Dead); the cast of Hannibal; the cast of Under The Dome

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DAY 2

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First row: Daniel Radcliffe; Colin Firth; Zachary Quinto; Jon Bernthal
Second row: Isaac Hempstead-Wright; Natalie Dormer; David Benioff & DB Weiss
Third row: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Gwendoline Christie & Pedro Pascal; Sophie Turner, Kit Harington & Maisie Williams; Will Poulter, Dylan O’Brien & Kaya Scodelario; Freddie Highmore & Vera Farmiga
Fourth row: Samuel L. Jackson; the cast of Dominion; the cast of Outlander (incl. Graham McTavish); DC Comics’ Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, John Romita Jr, Dan DiDio, Jim Lee & Scott Snyder of DC Comics

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DAY 3

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Top: The cast of Avengers: Age Of Ulron
First row: Robert Downey Jr.; RDJ & James Spader; Spader; Mark Ruffalo
Second row: Cobie Smulders
Third row: Hayley Atwell; Chloe Bennett; Paul Rudd; Josh Brolin
Fourth row: Michael Douglas, Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly & Corey Stoll (Ant-Man cast)
Fifth row: Janet Montgomery & Shane West; the cast of Gotham; the cast of Constantine; the cast of Arrow
Sixth row: Grant Gustin; Omar Epps; the cast of Grimm; the cast of Sleepy Hollow; Danai Gurira
Seventh row: The cast of The Walking Dead; Steven Yeun & Lauren Cohan
Eight row: Theo James & Shailene Woodley
Ninth row: George Miller, creator of Mad Max
Last: The cast of The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies

 

Marvel’s Avengers Age Of Ultron First Look

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After yesterday’s panel of Marvel’s Avengers: Age Of Ultron debuted (descriptions here), I looked at the film stills released by Marvel on Entertainment Weekly.

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The first picture should be the scene where they were hanging out and trying to lift Mjolnir. There’s Mjolnir right there. Also, even just by looking at the picture, I can sense the strong ‘brofeel’. (And it is good to see Don Cheadle there. I was hoping he’d be in the panel yesterday…)

I can’t even fathom what the second picture indicates, but the third picture makes me happy. I really like seeing them in costume because somehow Joss Whedon and Marvel always make them work in the story. That they are not just characters who dress differently because they’re unique and powerful, but because there’s a story behind their getup. Cap is back to his colorful star and stripes too, and I appreciate that. Although, I’m hoping Thor’s armor gets a little less summer-y… he probably just wants to show off his arms but I like it better when the armor has long sleeves.

The third one, though? I am not going to lie but at the moment I will say that Evan Peters’ Quicksilver is still better. His hair, for one, is a lot nicer to look at than Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s hair in this one. The bit available in the Captain America: The Winter Soldier after-credit scene was intriguing but it’s not like we get to see him being Pietro Maximoff in entirety… it’s really hard or me to expect anything without seeing more. And the X-Men: DOFP version of Quicksilver was a real highlight in any summer movie I’ve seen this year so it will be very hard to top that.

From the way everyone talks about, the one thing that really makes me curious is the Hulkbuster armor. Hopefully soon we will get to see that. Of course, we will all appreciate the first look of James Spader’s Ultron.

A side note on fan expectations and differences of the MCU films from the comic books… I don’t get it. I see vitriol poured by some fans over the announcement of the cast and characters of Ant-Man and I am baffled.

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